Strategies to Enhance Students' Memory

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Cox, Janelle. "Strategies to Enhance Students' Memory." ThoughtCo, Jul. 1, 2016, thoughtco.com/strategies-to-enhance-students-memory-2081716. Cox, Janelle. (2016, July 1). Strategies to Enhance Students' Memory. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/strategies-to-enhance-students-memory-2081716 Cox, Janelle. "Strategies to Enhance Students' Memory." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/strategies-to-enhance-students-memory-2081716 (accessed October 24, 2017).
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The memory demands on school-age children are much different today, then they were ten years ago. Children are constantly being bombarded with new knowledge on topics that may or may not be of interest to them. Plus, they are expected to learn these concepts and memorize them each week! Students who have difficulty with their short-term memory often have a hard time recalling spelling words, or the steps it takes to solve a math problem.

These problems are due to a failure of memory, which can be fixed with a few simple strategies.

Here we will take a look at a few strategies that you can implement into your classroom to help students develop a more effective and efficient memory.

Texting to Enhance Memory

Yes, you heard it right, using texting to enhance students memory. According to a study from the National Communication Association, children who texted their peers about classroom material were more likely to perform better on tests than those who did not. The study found that the students who were texting about classwork, versus those who were texting about non-classwork, actually scored higher on their tests. By regurgitating the material learned back to their classmates, students were more likely to remember the content come test time.

Teachers can capitalize on something that students love to do, text! If your classroom has a set of tablets or iPads you can have students text one another questions regarding the content that they just learned.

If you are not privy to any tablets, then you can have students use the classroom computer to send questions via instant messenger.

Using Mental Imagery

Another great memory strategy is for students to visualize what they have to remember. A visual picture can help cement a memory into the brain. For example, suppose a student needs to remember 15 spelling words.

They can take each word and visualize what that word looks like in their head. The word the student is trying to remember becomes the cue for the visual image.

Remembering in Chunks

Teach students to remember their spelling words in chunks. For example, let's say that a student needs to remember the word "dainty." Direct students to think of a word before and after the word dainty, such as the "small, dainty girl." This will help students remember that "dainty" is an adjective to describe a person.

Writing it Down

Students who have a hard time with their memory should write what they need to remember down. Especially students who have a hard time with multi-step math problems. For these students, it's hard to rely on mental math. When solving math problems they should always have a piece on paper handy to help them compute the problems so they can see what they are doing.

Using a Mnemonic Device

According to research, when information comes into our brains it searches for existing knowledge. Then, it seeks meaning through patterns. It takes the new information and looks for a match. So, when trying to enhance your students' memory try using a mnemonic device. Music uses rhythm and the rhyming creates patterns (which your brain likes).

Try having students change the words to their favorite song to help them remember specific information. Or, have them think of a silly sentence to help them remember their information. Here is an example for remembering the planets, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto.

Mnemonic Device

My Very Easy Method Just Speeds Up Naming Planets

Looking for more information to enhance your students' memory? Here are the steps for chunking information, along with an article on using mindfulness in the classroom, and tricks for remembering names.